Letter to the Editor: Stand United Against Hatred

By Kent French on behalf of the Brookline Interfaith Clergy Association

Posted Mar 30, 2019 at 5:44 PM on brookline.wickedlocal.com

On the morning of Friday, March 15, we awoke to the horrific news from Christchurch, New Zealand, that two mosques were brutally attacked by a white supremacist terrorist. Fifty people died during Friday prayer, ṣalāt al-jumu’ah, one of the most sacred moments in the Muslim week.

We at the Brookline Interfaith Clergy stand in solidarity with our Muslim neighbors here in Brookline, in New Zealand and around the world. Our local interfaith group includes Muslims, Jews, Christians and Unitarian Universalists, with a standing invitation to other faith leaders in or near Brookline.

We believe that people of all faiths are called to stand up against hatred, bigotry and violence in all its forms, and to overwhelm it with love. We are continually committed to teaching ourselves and future generations what it means to love fully, to get to know, understand and appreciate those whose faiths and customs are different from our own.

In addition to our prayers for the people of New Zealand, we can also pray for changed hearts and spirits locally, in this country and around the world, that all of us might be united in compassion and in our common humanity.

New Zealand seems far away, but you may know someone who worships in a mosque or identifies as Muslim in your neighborhood or workplace. We encourage you to reach out and show your support. Let them know that they are heard and seen, valued and loved.

It may also be time to challenge a relative or co-worker who speaks anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant language or other forms of bigotry, and is never challenged to see another viewpoint, or whom you fear will never change. You can let them know that theirs is not the only viewpoint.

We are grateful for the religious and cultural diversity of our town. We celebrate it and believe that at our best, Brookline is a beacon for mutual understanding and interfaith harmony.

-Kent French on behalf of the Brookline Interfaith Clergy Association


Pastors Joseph and Ophelia Ardayfio

Mars Hill Fellowship Church


Reverend Kent French

Reverend Amy Norton

United Parish in Brookline


Rabbi Claudia Kreiman

Rabbi Moshe Waldoks

Temple Beth Zion


Reverend Jeff Mello

Reverend Elise Feyerherm

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church


Reverend Lisa Perry-Wood

Reverend Eliza Blanchard (Affiliate Minister)

First Parish Unitarian Universalist


Rabbi Audrey Marcus Berkman

Rabbi Daniel Schaefer

Temple Ohabei Shalom


Reverend Richard Burden

All Saints Parish


Reverend Mark Caggiano

First Church Chestnut Hill


Imam Ismail Fenni

Yusuf Mosque


Reverend Jonathan Gaspar

St. Mary of the Assumption Parish


Rabbi William Hamilton

Rabbi Elizabeth Bonney-Cohen

Congregation Kehillath Israel


Reverend Joel Ives

Episcopal Church of our Savior


Faiza Khan Raana Mumtaz

Brookline Muslim Friends


Reverend Alison Moore

First Presbyterian Church


Rabbi Jim Morgan

Center Communities of Brookline


Reverend Candace Nicolds

Brookline Church of Christ


Pastor Joshua Throneburg

Pastor Yumiko Nakagawa

Highrock Covenant Church


Rabbi Andrew Vogel

Rabbi Shoshana Friedman

Temple Sinai


Rabbi Marcia Plumb

Congregation Mishkan Tefila